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Composition of Curiosity, as well as Neatness. She lets no Day slip, like Apelles, without fome Line or Lineament of her own making to shew for it. She takes Time by the Forelock, and it cannot escape her curious Hands; but she must still be producing some rare Sketch of her Ingenuity, or some finer Draught of her Contex. ture, to surprize the most skilful Artisans, and increase their Wonder. In all the accurate Composures, or Niceties of this ancient Art, she has the Preheminence; and only does not come up to Nature it self, in the Perfe&ion of her Workmanship, or other compa& Devices, But nevertheless, she still appears like the incomparable Silk-worm, as I said before, among all other Women; and also becomes the true Ariadne of this Age. She is continually a-contriving, in the most faithful Manner,' either for genteely winding-up the Clew of Business at the Bottom of her intricate Family-Affairs, or dexterously unravelling it, to lead her loving

Theseus through the Labyrinth of a miserable and distressed Life;involv'd' perhaps in the Difficulties of Love, Loyalty, or some worse Compul. fions of flying Abroad, leaving his dear Spouse be. hind him, and abandoning his forlorn Habitation.

I. IN Tapestry, she shews her wonderful Handy-work. Her Furniture is always of the finest Sort; neat and clean, but not pompous or vainglorious for Oftentation. It is not only famous, but also frugal ; nothing but what common Decency allows, or a fashionable Necessity requires. Fier House never fails of being well-stock'd with excellent Goods, magnificently modeft, and most of them of her own Make or Contrivance, to Thew her glorious Frugality : infomuch that it looks more like a Work or a Ware-house of the

most

most valuable Commodities, as rich Cloths of Arras, noble Turkey Carpets, or stately Counterpanes, &c. fit for the Entertainment and Repose of a publick Prince, rather than a private Husband. Such exceedingly curious home-made Hangings or Coverings, adorn’d with the livelieft Representations, drawn from facred and prophane History, set-off all her decent Apartments with so much Gravity, as well as Grandeur or Glory; that they make it appear like some Royal Palace, fitted-up for the Reception of an

Ambassador, or a nobler Guest, as if it were indeed from Ægypt to Jerusalem, upon an ensuing Pacification. However, be that as it will, by her great and dexterous Curiosities, she renders it the most amiable, as well as most agreeable Dwelling-Place of her ennobled Sponse. Thus she seems incessantly aggrandizing, or modestly embroidering, as I may say, the very Happiness her Family, by the curious Works of her own Ingenuity. In fine, all her Houshold-Goods are magnificently noble. But, after all, Virtue is her chief Ward-Robe and her Dressing-Room.

II. IN Silks or Satins also, she likewise displays the super-excellent Works of her Hands. They are the very Products of her own Ingenuity, as well as Labour. For she generally works what she wears; and adorns not only Her self, but her whole Family, with the Curiosities of her own Fingers. She evidently abounds in Purple and fine Linen, or the nicest Laces of all sorts, that the Needle can perform ; pro. per for arraying her Husband, Children, or Servants decently, according to their several Diftin&ions, and different Degrees of Relation. She manifestly makes all their Cloaths of the best wearing, and the most lasting Service. Insomuch

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that her Spouse appears as eminently gay, as a Prince in his Purple-Garments; her Sons and Daughters look like so many young beautiful Silk-worms themselves, and her Bond Men or Women fine in Liveries of little inferiour Glory. But her own Cloathing still makes the most ad. mirable Appearance, for its graceful Modesty and exact Simplicity, in the best Attire both of Art and Nature. She takes the unparallellid Pattern from Her self, not to be excell'd by any other Original. In short, she out-does the most lovely, lively, or unfading Beauties of Nature, in her unaffected Gaiety of Dress, and native Simplicity of Garb: so that she may, in some Measure, be juftly compar'd to the King's Daughter, that the Royal Psalmist speaks of; who is all glorious within, and whose Cloathing is of wrought Gold without; as internally illustrious with her radiant Wisdom, as externally refulgent in her glittering Robes. But she wears her finest Silk and Purple still, without any Pride. For she knows that Wanity, Luxury, or Prodigality in Fashion, fpoils all good Furniture and Apparel. But, out of common Discretion and Virtue, she never hangs her Rooms, covers her Bed, or cloaths her Body with any Magnificence, to the Prejudice of the Poor ; either by neglecting their Needs, forgetting to relieve their Necessities, or refusing to cloath their Nakednefs.

VERSE

VERSE XXIII.

3 HER Husband is known in the Gates ;

when he fitteth among the Elders of the Land.

PARAPHRASE.

B

18

Y this glorious Text we may find, that her happy Husband's Robes also, comparatively Royal, are all of her own making, as well as the rest

of her Family's Rayments : in which he makes so noble an Appearance, that he is prcsently taken Notice of, at first sight, when he comes in Person, either to visit the Court, take his Place in the Council, or sit among the Senators of the Country. They cannot but think him highly blest, with such a noted industrious Housewife, and will scarce forbear envying his Happiness : especially considering the great Honour that she does him in his genteel Cloathing, as well as other Family- Affairs, by her careful Handy: Works, excellent Conduct, and wise Oeconomy. For she honourably takes upon her, to ease him of all other domestick Cares, or familiar Concerns, but those of publick Business, or a political Nature: which, by her Wisdom, Diligence, and discreet Management at Home, he may always be at his entire Liberty to attend Abroad, with the utmost. Satisfaction, Pleasure or Applause. Happy is her Husband then, to be fo publickly well known, and well-spoken of in the Gates, or in the very Streets of a populous

and

and great City. He must voluntarily acknowledge his growing Fame, Glory, Preferment, Reputation, Authority and All, in a great Measure, owing to his excellent Wife's Goodness and Virtųe. When he takes his Post among the Elders of the Land, or assumes his Seat among the chief Magistrates in publick Assemblies, Courts of Judicature, and lawful Conventions of Government, they presently know him, not only by his own Garb, Character or Behaviour, but also by that Comeliness of his Spouse's Adornment and Distincti.

Her prevalent Veracity, or powerful Interest, is a sufficient Recommendation of his Perfon, to their Regard and Esteem. They receive him courteously for her Sake, as well as his own, with the utmost Veneration of his personal Virtues. He finds himself had in much Honour by All that know him, for his singular Justice, remarkable Humanity, and renown'd Integrity of Principles. 'Tis she, in a great Degree of Partnership and nuptial Bliss, that makes him be so much taken Notice of, or rather cele. brated with Admiration, by Kings, Princes and Emperors ; by Dukes, Grandees and Governors, as well as all other Ranks, and Orders of People, from the Highest to the Lowest: for his fam’d Affability, Courtesy, and candid Deportment towards the meanest of Mankind, as well as his Superiours, the higher Powers, or the Elders of the Land. They all think him a Person of matchless Merit, worthy of his honourable Place, and highly deserving of the noblest Promotion in the Realm. In short, through her virtuous Means and Mediation, as well

on.

as well as his own excellent Indowments of Mind, he comes at last to be ennobled with Honours and Dignities

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